Statement to the Senate Oct. 23, 2012
Mollie Freier, Chair of AISAC
Krista E. Clumpner, Head of Technical Services & Systems Olson Library
On February 20, 2007 the Northern Michigan University Academic Senate passed a resolution in support of the open access initiative. For those who are new to the Senate since that time, open access is the concept that an intellectual endeavor belongs to the person who created it (the essence of copyright), but also that the creator has the right to negotiate access to their intellectual property, and that this product should be shared more freely, with fewer restrictions placed on it by third parties, such as publishers.
Since that time, many professional organizations have endeavored to establish ways to make this concept a reality. Last spring, Academic Information Services put forward a proposal to support an institutional repository for Northern that would promote open access. This has been a goal for us since the open access proposal went to Senate. Both the library and the archives have been striving to collect and maintain in print form (with some digitization) the intellectual endeavors originating from NMU. Now, with the support of Academic Affairs we are in the process of implementing software which will allow us to store, publicize, and give open access to the intellectual endeavors occurring at NMU and involving NMU faculty, staff, and students.
The library already has in place a network of liaison librarians ready to work with their assigned departments’ faculty to assist in getting information on your endeavors into the institutional repository, called the Commons. As we progress, we will be working with you to add language to book contracts and publishing agreements to grant you permissions to retain your rights and include your work in the Commons. At the very least, we want to include links to publishers’ sites if full-text cannot be negotiated for the Commons. Our vendor will be ensuring that everything entered on our site is indexed in Google, thus giving worldwide access to your intellectual property. Our emphasis is primarily forward looking, working with you to ensure access to your future output. At the same time, we also are looking back to what has already been created.
We are in the process of converting all the information you have submitted to the Scholarly Works site in the past into the Commons. For now, new information – anything since June 2012 or that you hadn’t previously put on the local Scholarly Works page -- can be submitted by sending an email and attachments to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org . You should have received information regarding this from Brian Cherry.
You can also go into the site under construction: commons.nmu.edu. While the structure is still being built, you can go in and set up your own page at Selected Works. Instructions on how to do this will be forthcoming.